Trudy and the Romance are proof positive that good pop music is best marinated patiently over years, rather than rushed out in the first flash of youth. By my calculation, the band has been crafting their debut long player since at least 2014; the woozy results aren’t quite like anything you’ve heard before.

Sandman is a kind of concept album, telling the non-linear story of "little Johnny," a lovelorn old romantic given life by Olly Taylor’s stumbling vocal lines, which gulp and shudder like the Liverpudlian is trying to gurgle a liquid nitrogen and brown ale cocktail. His paeans are painted in big, exploded strokes of red and gold with sweeping vistas of guitar and choral excess, like a Richard Hawley-penned musical. Producer David Pye has a ton of fun corralling his sweeping mix around the trio’s clever songs, like Bones Howe carpeting Tom Waits’ early material in barroom glitz.

It feels cheap to pull individual tracks out of what is very much an album of stylistic absolutes, but ‘Midnight’s Blue Girl’ nicely wheels out the template; a sharp three-piece driving melodies, Taylor’s chokey delivery, which rubs off all the sharp edges of his consonants to emerge somewhere between Bryan Ferry and Pete Doherty. Over everything is arranged a melodrama that the band rightly compare to Disney at its most syrupy; they call it "realistic cartoon." I’d say it’s more Fritz the Cat than Mickey Mouse.

There’s a huge serving of "spaceman doo wop," never less than on ‘The Hopeless Romantic’. ‘Candy Coloured’ has the plastic veneer of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and is the album’s drunken core (or liver). Opener ‘My Baby’s Gone Away’ actually begins with the suggestion that we might expect another Merseyside spaghetti western, before veering off in several melodic and tonal directions at once. It’s this impatience with conventional arrangements, more than anything else, which sets Trudy and the Romance’s debut apart from the field. The band haven’t just thrown a good idea into the mixer and let the songs flow out, there’s a keen dedication to detail on each track, a desire to reach for moments of blurry romance. There’s also a pounding amount of energy, particularly on the album’s title track.

I don’t like comparing anything to The Libertines because they’re honestly a band whose entire existence I could do without, and for whom a lot of people still hold a nostalgic loyalty. Back in 2002 their ramshackle charm (however affected) did light a few bulbs. Where they were intellectually restricted to the most basic of rock singles, Trudy and the Romance stretch and strain the sinews of their music to leave welts that attest to the truthfulness of it all.

Sandman is a labour of love in the truest sense; a complicated rush of hormones, like fancy perfume seething over the grey matter. When it’s at its best, it can make you feel like you’re drunk and in the first flush of obsession. Even the swearing sounds sweet.